"Don't Throw Me Away" by The Mumlers

By Cole on November 12, 2009 6:00 AM

Two weeks ago at Hailey's in Denton, Texas, it wasn't clear if the audience gathered for The Mumlers was curious about the San Jose band, or just politely waiting for the headliners. 

But after guitarist/singer Will Sprott belted his final pleading lines on the set closer, "Don't Throw Me Away," the crowd was anxious to take his advice. It was a precious sight especially amidst all the murky, melancholy haunting any show with "The Black Heart Procession" at the top of the bill. But that's The Mumlers' M.O.

It's those thoughtful dynamics--the courage to take chances--that reward not tossing this one away. 

Sprott's talent for conjuring light and hope from darkness allows the greatest songs on their sophomore album, Don't Throw Me Away, to shine. Through 11 tracks, the group shuffle-steps to gently plucked chords backed by a charming horn section, channeling a wide spectrum of old world folk, soul and R&B. But it doesn't matter if Sprott is in the mood for lovin', gamblin' or writin' his Grandma a letter--The Mumlers imbue every tune with tender pop caress.

It's those thoughtful dynamics--the courage to take chances--that reward not tossing this one away. Songs like the album opener, "Raise The Blinds," stumble out of the bar with an early rock n' roll swagger through speakeasy horn streets, getting lost in alleys of off-kilter keys. But serendipitously find their way sweetly home to Otis Redding territory. Others, like the macabre job lament, "Coffin Factory," sound like a Tijuana bar-fight between Tom Waits and Eric Burdon. However, even here, beneath Sprott's croon bemoaning his career "Building boxes to bury humanity," carefree harmonies swoon through the gloom "Sha-la-la-la."

Despite its magic, some of the album's spare blues arrangements ring a little redundant when repeated over three tracks. It's just a reminder that The Mumlers' best songs are oblivious to genre pretense; unconcerned with sounding like anyone but themselves. But with such heartfelt ambition and Sprott wringing out each line in a song like delicate Soul poetry, it's impossible not to take the band at their word. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. 

Rating: 7/10

Watch The Mumlers perform "Coffin Factory" from their new album Don't Throw Me Away at Hailey's in Denton, TX.

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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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